Japan (Scope note)

Japan's archaic "kuni" were sixty-eight regions defined in the late 600s AD for the purposes of central government administration. At the start of the Meiji period the system was slightly revised, with the addition of nineteen kuni: eleven for Hokkaido (Oshima, Shiribeshi, Iburi, Ishikari, Tesio, Kitami, Hidaka, Tokachi, Kushiro, Nemuro and Chishima), seven for northeast Honshu (Mutsu, Rikuchu, Rikuzen, Iwaki, Iwashiro, Ugo, and Uzen) and one for Okinawa. However, in 1871, the system of geographical administration was entirely reformulated with the establishment of the current prefectural system, in which Japan is organized into forty-seven administrative regions: forty-three prefectures, plus one "to" (Tokyo), one "do" (Hokkaido), and two "fu" (Kyoto and Osaka). From this point the kuni names gradually fell out of use. Japan's archaic "shu" system developed on the model of China's ancient provinces ("zhou"). For the most part, the shu corresponded geographically with the existing kuni, although on occasion a single shu fell within the borders of several different kuni, while a single kuni encompassed several shu. In this thesaurus, each place name referring to a town, village or site, has a modern Broad Term which is a ken, do, to or fu and, where identifiable, an additional, archaic Broad Term, which is a kuni. Where a shu has been recorded for an object, that term is included in the thesaurus but does not have any Narrow Terms. The relationship between each ken and kuni is reciprocally recorded in the individual Scope Notes. 旧国名は7世紀後半に制定された律令制に基づいて設置された地方行政区分で全68国あった。明治以降北海道(渡島、胆振、日高、後志、石狩、天塩、春狩、北見、十勝、釧路、根室、千島)、東北(陸奥、陸前、陸中、磐城、岩代、羽後、羽前)と琉球が追加、再編されて全84国となる。明治初期まで日本の基本単位として用いられたが、1871年以降都道府県が設置された後はしだいに国名が使われなくなっていった。現在の都道府県は1871年に設置された日本の行政区分で、1都(東京都)1道(北海道)2府(大阪府、京都府)43県の計47個が日本の地理的区分を示す名称として用いられている。 日本の州名は中国の州名に習って呼ばれていた名称であり、一つの国名を複数の州にわける場合や、複数の国を一つの州にまとめて呼ぶ場合もあるが、地理的区分の意識は旧国名にほぼ対応している。